Thursday, 12 August 2010

Guess work or God's Word?

Without doubt it was the longest and most interesting visit I have ever had to a petrol station in my life.  I had just been preaching the Gospel in a portable hall adjacent to the petrol station and called in afterwards to buy some victuals to last me the 15 minute journey home!  The woman serving at the till asked me what I had been up to so I took the opportunity to tell her about the wonderful message of the Gospel and the greatness of the salvation that God offers through Christ.  She was totally underwhelmed!  I asked her what she thought about such matters and she told me she was an atheist.  When I asked her why she was an atheist she said, "Because of science", although the tone of her voice conveyed another word, "Because of science, stupid!"  So this led to an interesting conversation about science, and resulted in her saying that neither of us know enough about science to say whether it proves or disproves God.  Despite the faulty thinking she evidenced by that statement, I let it go, just reminding her that she was the one who said her atheism was because of science. 

I asked if I could read something to her from the Bible (the shop was very quiet), so she agreed.  I opened my Bible to Psalm 22 and read some verses from it, then I read from Isaiah 53.  I asked her who those passages were speaking about.  She answered "Jesus" in a tone that implied it was the most obvious question ever, so I agreed with her that it was obvious - couldn't be anyone else - she nodded, as if to say, "When are you going to get to the point?!?"  So I asked her how such accurate, graphic descriptions could be given hundreds of years before Jesus was born.  She hadn't realised this, so I explained that Psalm 22 was written about 1000BC and Isaiah 53 about 700BC. 

She was at a loss for words, so I thought I would give an illustration to try to show what is going on.  I said, "Suppose I said to you, 'Tomorrow a car will come here for petrol', you wouldn't think I was possessed of any prophetic gift, but suppose I told you that a red Ford Focus was going to come into the forecourt at 09.02.  Suppose I gave you the registration of the car, the names, addresses, ages and occupations of the people in the car.  Now imagine you're standing here tomorrow morning and at 09.02 in drives the red Focus with everything exactly as I described, what would you think?"  She replied, "I'd think you'd arranged it."  Of course she would!  There's no way that could have been a lucky guess.  So the question I had for her, as I pointed to the open Bible, was this, "Who arranged that?  Who gave David and Isaiah the telescope that allowed them to look down the centuries?  Who put their hand into the affairs of men to bring about the fulfillment of these Scriptures?"  She didn't have an answer, I'm wondering do you?  The Bible gives the only answer that makes sense, "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2Peter 1 v 21).